NBA Free Agents 2011: 10 Players Teams Should Not Sign
The 2011 NBA Free Agency period will begin whenever the dreaded lockout ends and a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is established. A stricter salary cap will force front offices to be more responsible than they were in the past, which means no more wasting millions of dollars on useless bodies.
Numerous NBA players have remained in the league as towel wavers, glorified cheerleaders, and chair fillers. But with less money to spend and stricter rules on player movement, the 15th men of the league may no longer have a seat on the bench.
Teams must be smarter and more economical in their spending if they wish to compete. Consequently, they should stay far away from the following 10 free agents.
Jason Collins has been in the NBA for a decade now, which is amazing given the fact that he has very few skills. His career averages of 3.9 points and 4.0 rebounds a game aren't exactly Hall of Fame worthy.
Of course, he is very large (7'0", 255 pounds) which is why he's stuck around for so long—NBA teams covet size, perhaps more so than any other attribute.
But I think the time has come for teams to stop spending money on Collins.
Collins received credit for seemingly becoming the "Dwight Howard Stopper" in the regular season. However, this proved to be an aberration as Howard averaged 27.0 points and 15.5 rebounds per game in their first-round playoff series.
The players he beat out: Stephen Graham, Hasheem Thabeet and Luke Walton, all of whom are quite terrible in their own right.
Shooting guard Von Wafer has played five years in the NBA, which is pretty solid for a mid-second round pick.
However, he is one of the most seldom-used players in the league. Of all 2-guards who appeared in at least 20 games, only Celtic teammate Avery Bradley played fewer minutes per game.
And while he was on the court, Wafer didn't exactly light it up. He averaged just 3.2 points and 0.6 assists per game.
Out of all players at his position who saw action in at least 20 games, he posted the 10th worst percentage on three-pointers with a wretched 26.9 percent. And yet, almost half (44.4 percent) of his field-goal attempts were from behind the three-point line.
That's just bleeding inefficiency all over the court. I think teams can find a better option at shooting guard than Wafer.
The Miami Heat brought in Mike Bibby mid-season with hopes that he would be an upgrade over Mario Chalmers at the point guard spot. The Heat front office knew his defense would be atrocious (as evidenced by the picture to the left) but they figured he would produce enough offensively to make up for it.
Well, they were wrong.
Bibby was god-awful in the playoffs, posting a Player Efficiency Rating of just 3.6. Of all players who have ever played at least 200 minutes in a given postseason (and there have been a lot), Bibby has the sixth worst P.E.R. of all time.
That's, well, terrible.
What's more, Miami signed Bibby to be a three-point specialist, someone who could punish defenses from the perimeter whenever LeBron James and Dwyane Wade penetrated. Bibby was just that guy in the regular season, hitting on 44 percent of his threes.
But in the playoffs, he experienced a drastic and inexplicable decline. His percentage dropped to a dreadful 25.8 percent, and he was attempting 4.8 per game. Simply put, he was killing his own team just by shooting the ball.
Erik Spoelstra, being the smart coach that he is, played Bibby exactly zero minutes in their season-ending loss to the Mavericks, after Bibby had started the previous 20 playoff games.
With Bibby at 33 years of age, it may time for the league to give up on him. At least we'll always have his Sacramento years.
Two title contenders took a shot at Carlos Arroyo last season. First was the Miami Heat, who were panicking on the idea of Mario Chalmers starting and were desperate to find a veteran point guard.
He started 42 of 49 games for the Heat, playing in 20.3 minutes per game. But while he was receiving a decent amount of playing time, he wasn't exactly accomplishing anything.
His per game averages of 5.6 points, 2.0 assists, and 1.6 rebounds weren't blowing away the Miami coaching staff.
Miami let him go midseason to clear room for Bibby and Boston snatched him up (using the bulletproof logic that his old team just dumped him for Mike Bibby's corpse, so he must be good).
Well, he was just as forgettable in Beantown, averaging just 2.4 points and 1.7 assists in 12.7 minutes per game.
In the playoffs, the Celtics showed how much faith they truly had in Arroyo—he didn't play a single minute.
This picture pretty much sums up Yi Jianlian's NBA career.
The sixth overall draft pick in 2007, Yi has proven to be one of the bigger busts in recent memory. Four years after being touted as the next great basketball star out of China, Yi may soon be on his way back to the Far East.
Last season, while playing for his third NBA team, the 7'0", 250 pound "power" forward put up paltry numbers of 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 17.7 minutes per game.
Yi once appeared loaded with potential, but the physical and emotional grind of the NBA has overwhelmed him and he may be better off just playing overseas.
He lacks the toughness, work ethic and mentality to last in the league. I would be very surprised if he plays another two or three years in America.
The only noteworthy thing Utah center Francisco Elson accomplished last season was putting James Jones in a hang choke (exhibited on the left).
The 35-year-old Elson played just 9.8 minutes per game last season, the 10th fewest among centers who appeared in at least 20 games.
He never really used his 7-foot frame to his advantage, and managed to "produce" just 2.2 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.
He has played eight seasons in the NBA, which is really good for a mid-second round pick. But with his age and lack of tangible contributions, his days in the league could be limited.
Jamaal Magloire was one of the least-used players in the league last year, and for a pretty simple reason: he's just not any good.
The 11th-year center out of Kentucky played in just 18 games for the Miami Heat in the regular season, averaging 1.9 points and 3.4 rebounds in 8.8 minutes per game.
In the playoffs, the Heat were confident enough to play Magloire in three of their 21 playoff games, in which he averaged six minutes a game and did absolutely nothing.
Even more worthless than Magloire is Philadelphia power forward Darius Songaila, who set foot on the court in just 10 regular season games.
The 33-year-old Russian exhibited his skill level by scoring 1.6 points and grabbing 1.0 rebound in 7.1 minutes per game. He also managed to post a staggeringly low P.E.R of 1.18.
What's even more astonishing than his microscopic levels of productivity is that his 2011 salary was somehow $4.8 million, the sixth highest on Philadelphia's roster.
I'll just let that sink in.
After starting in 22 regular-season games, and appearing in 51 total, Erick Dampier played exactly zero minutes in Miami's 21 playoff games (Also, note that many of the players on this list were associated with the Heat last year. Props to Pat Riley for getting the Big 3, but man did he fail on the role players).
The 35-year-old punchline averaged 16 minutes per game during the regular season, but produced very little. His 2.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game were uninspiring, to say the least.
The only thing Dampier has consistently produced during his 15 year career is disappointment. The former 10th overall pick only played hard when his contract was on the line (12.3 points and 11.9 rebounds per game in 2003-04) and showed up out of shape and disinterested once he got paid.
That about sums it up.
I am 100 percent confident in saying that Eddy Curry is the laziest, most lethargic, most frustrating player that I have ever had the displeasure of watching. As he half-assed his way through every game, I actually began to think that he would be the death of professional basketball.
Curry always showed up to camp out of shape, was completely uncoachable and a terrible teammate, and was involved in a very bizarre sexual harassment suit in which he was accused of trying to solicit gay sex from his chauffeur.
So did the Miami Heat bring him in for a workout recently? Of course they did.
And why wouldn't Miami want the constantly overweight and disinterested Curry? I mean, other than the fact that he's only played in a combined 10 games the past three seasons, he actually posted a negative P.E.R in 2009-10, and he's Eddy Freaking Curry!
But the best part about the whole situation?
Curry got paid $11.5 million last season to do nothing but sit on his ass and eat Funions.
And people wonder why we're headed for a lockout.